Published on January 26, 2024
Author: Emily Sorrentino

Since the introduction of Reels, people have drawn comparisons between this new platform and TikTok—which has our clients wondering which of these they should be using to bolster their brands. We say, why choose one? Reels and TikTok allow users to create and share videos with audio, as well as interact with other accounts. And while there are some differences between the platforms, both have shown to be powerful marketing tools as video creation continues to gain popularity. Let’s explore!

So, Who Can You Find on These Platforms?

Instagram has been around since 2010 and has over 1 billion active users. TikTok (formerly in its current form has only been around since 2018, but it is rapidly growing and currently hosts almost 700 million active users worldwide.

In total, the largest group on Instagram is 25-34-year-olds, making up 33.1% of users. That isn’t to say, though, that you will only encounter younger generations on Instagram. As it turns out, nearly 15% of Instagram’s users are 45 and older. TikTok’s demographic, on the other hand, is overwhelmingly young, with 69% being 24 and younger.

Breaking Down Consumer Engagement

One of the biggest differences is that TikTok functions as a standalone app and Instagram Reels is a feature within an existing app. Understanding the nuances of how audiences engage will help you find your best consumers on both platforms and the best marketing approach for your brand.

Reels are published to Instagram’s “Explore” feed, which is hosted in a separate tab from the accounts you follow. That means users need to enter that “Explore” tab in order to view a mixture of Reels, sponsored photos, and other longform videos. Of course, it’s important to note that, since Instagram users may already be there for other content, it is easy for them to come across Reels in a more organic way. Some companies have found that Reels will underperform if not posted to their feeds, so this practice has become a norm.

TikTok, on the other hand, hosts only their signature 60-second max videos. In order to engage with your specific audience, the members of your target would have to actively be scrolling through TikTok on a fairly regular basis. When these users scroll, they navigate a “For You Page” (FYP) which serves them videos specifically curated to their interests based on past likes and engagements. This algorithm actually allows for someone with zero followers to get millions of views on a video. Similarly, through the use of hashtags or trend-following, a marketer could produce a successful TikTok ad or video without needing thousands of followers. This is a big reason why individual sellers have found success using TikTok to advertise products and services.

Video Content Is Trending

Want to connect with wider audiences and increase reach? Let’s talk about how video creation, thanks to TikTok and Instagram Reels, can boost your marketing efforts.


Global brands have found that younger populations have responded well to influencer marketing within the app. In a new era of influencers, creators have been able to quickly rise to fame as “TikTokers”, establishing large fanbases who are loyal and frequent watchers. Compared to influencer engagement on Instagram and Twitter, TikTok led with an average rate of 7.7%.

Another strategy that brands use on TikTok to boost views is to create a hashtag “challenge” or trend. TikTok users love challenges, as they can utilize TikTok’s editing features such as “stitching”, “duetting”, and “reacting” to re-create videos and participate in a popular trend. E.l.f. Cosmetics created the hashtag campaign “#eyeslipsface” which challenged viewers to share a video of their own eyes, lips, and faces. This resulted in over 4 billion views and millions of user-generated videos. With the use of a hashtag, original audio, and the aspect of a challenge, E.l.f. was able to create the most successful TikTok marketing campaign to date.


With 90% of users now following at least one brand on Instagram, creating a Reel can be a powerful tool for reaching enthusiastic consumers. As brands continually try to find creative ways to connect with their best customers, Reels are proving to be a winner. In fact, video content has boomed since the introduction of Reels, with 70% of marketers looking to invest more time in this platform.

Another plus to creating your content on Instagram? People tend to be on the app, so it’s likely that they will come across your Reels organically. Along the same lines, you can share your Reels to your personal Story to boost and track individual views as well. This will also allow you to utilize the features of Instagram Stories while promoting your Reels. Reels also just added a new “Remix” feature that allows users to recreate another person’s video alongside the original, so promoting your Reels is even more important now as users can play a part in sharing them.

Let’s Create Together!

So, why are video platforms, like TikTok and Reels, great additions to your marketing strategy? To learn how leveraging these tools can help you amplify reach, build brand loyalty, and more, reach out to us here at AGAIN via email at


Samantha Sekora

Samantha Sekora—a member of the creative team here at AGAIN—is a cutting-edge writer and lover of all things social. When she's not typing away, you might find Samantha off doing some of her favorite things, like roller skating and antiquing. All while sporting her signature sunflower pin.

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